This year, your support has helped nearly 6,000 children go to school this year! Below, you’ll find a brief report on how our Shiksha Kendra (SK – formally known as the Non-Formal Education) project has done this year (March ’12 – April ’13). Our staff have been working hard with local communities to increase access to, and the quality of, education and to persuade parents that giving their children, especially girls, an education is in everyone’s long-term interest. In truth, this is a tough battle – a recent survey in 14 of some of our most remote and impoverished villages concluded that 53% of the children (aged 6-14) are not enrolled in school. In fact, 36% of them have never even attended a single day of school. It is in this context that we are working to provide schooling for the thousands of out-of-school children in southern Rajasthan.
Seva Mandir currently runs 173 Shiksha Kendras (SKs) in the 5 blocks (subdivisions of a district) we work in. These schools offer a primary education that is catered to out-of-school children. The majority of these children are first-generation learners, meaning their parents have never gone to school. The main goal of the SKs is to provide a quality education that enables children to confidently and smoothly transition into government schools.
Some key figures for this year are:
Progress in Learning:
In order to monitor the progress of the children, we conduct a standardized test twice a year. The learning levels have been categorized from 0-3, and roughly corresponding to government classes. While we still have not conducted the final test for this year, a comparison of our latest midterm exam with last year’s results shows significant progress. The proportion of children in Levels 2 and 3 increased by 15%, reflecting the greater efficacy of our teachers who have been receiving continuous training.
Enrollment in Government Schools:
As mentioned in the introduction, the main goal of the SKs is to get children enrolled into government schools once their basic competencies in Hindi and math have been achieved. This year, 1,114 children from our Shiksha Kendras were mainstreamed into government schools. About two-thirds of these children were accepted into Classes 5 and 6, which is a strong indicator that our instructors are effective teachers.
Investing in our Instructors:
Nearly all the instructors at the SKs are local community members who often belong to the same village they work in. Most of our instructors have only studied up to 8th or 9th class, so Seva Mandir provides regular and rigorous training to enhance their capabilities and skills. This year there were 28 training sessions held in all five blocks.
In addition, 8 Seva Mandir staff members participated in a two-week teacher exchange program with an NGO in the Netherlands, where they received new ideas on how to make changes and improvements with concrete, long-term plans.
As you can see, this year has shown an improvement in enrollment and quality of education received at the Shiksha Kendras. The Shiksha Kendra model has been incredibly successful in integrating hundreds of well-trained children into government schools. The ambition of this project is matched only by the commitment of our staff, who are working tirelessly to create a much-needed revolution in education in our region.
Please feel free to comment and/or rate our report, your feedback means everything to us!
On behalf of all of our staff, instructors, and the thousands of children you are helping, I would like to sincerely thank you for your commitment to our cause!
Through your support of Seva Mandir's Send a Child in India to School for a Year Program, children such as Roshan, pictured in the yellow shirt, are given an opportunity that they may otherwise never get, to develop a love of learning.
Roshan studied at Losing Dhana Shiksha Kindra (previously known as Non Formal Education Centre) from the age of seven. He is now 12 years old and attends secondary school in Level 9. He loves learning and likes Hindi, Maths and English. The impact of the SK (Shiksha Kendra) does not stop with Roshan, however. His father is a labourer who fits water pipes so he is away from home a great deal; he encourages Roshan to go to school and has even said he will punish him if he does not attend - an indication of how much he values education for his son. Although his parents are not literate Roshan reads with his younger brother who is currently studying in the SK; he wants to encourage him to progress in school as well.
Thanks to your support of Seva Mandir's SKs, children like Sanjay who face numerous disadvantages that might keep them from ever attending school have the opportunity to receive an education and encourage their brothers, sisters and fellow community members to do the same. In this way, the impact of the Shiksha Kendras are felt beyond the walls of the classroom and create ripples of change for their whole community.
With your support, Seva Mandir hopes to create communities where every child has the opportunity to develop a love of learning. We thank you for your support of this program and children like Roshan.
Wish you a very Happy Holiday Season!
Thank you for your continued support to our project ‘Send a Child in India to School for a Year’.
With your support we are about to begin a new year and are excited about the hopes and challenges it will bring. And at this yearend, we would like to share half yearly progress report of this project. We have attached the progress report for you to know how exactly YOUR support is creating real change. Below is the snapshot of the progress report:
We are able to make these progresses because of YOU.
And in this holiday season you can help us make more exciting progresses by doubling the impact of your donations.
From December 1, 2012 at 12:01 am ET and December 31, 2012 at 11:59 pm ET, Global giving has created a ‘Recurring Donation Campaign’ where all the recurring donations made by you will be matched up to $100 per donor per project. We request you to sign up to a monthly donation by clicking on recurring donation of an amount that you can afford and help us to make such more progresses in coming new year.
We look forward to your support and thoughts on this report. Once again, wish you a very happy holiday season to you and your family.
I am here again to share with you happiness, light and tranquility on this Diwali from over 5,000 tribal children who you send to school every day in our area.
Diwali is a festival of lights and candles. It symbolizes the fact that there is more good in us than bad and that we all have to keep working on it. This is what you have been doing for all these children by ensuring quality education and inspiring their teachers to keep engage with their students in joyful learning. The problems in this world are endless, the struggles break us down everyday and yet we all come together to support each other. This is the message we bring from all the children and teachers from our area.
Happy Diwali to all of you and we also wish you a great year ahead.
With warm regards,
P..S. Find more about Diwali here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diwali
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For the first time in three years, Githmal did not go to Gujurat to work in the cotton fields. His eldest brother, who usually tends the fields at home, has gone in his place. In Gujurat he made 100 rupees a month, 20 of which were deducted for meals and accommodation. In the end, he received closer to 80 rupees a month. At 13 years old, Githmal has only attended one month of school several years ago. His inability to read, write or count proved especially challenging during his work in Gujurat where he was not quite sure if he was receiving fair wages for the work he was doing and could not fully advocate for himself.
When he was still an infant, his father developed a mental illness and was unable to work or care for the family. Githmal and his elder brother were then looked upon to financially support their mother and two younger sisters. Over the past year and a half, however, Githmal’s sisters, who are now older, have begun helping their mother at home, tending to the livestock (2 oxen and 5 goats) and fields. One of his younger sisters, Lanka, is also attending camp with him. Lanka also attended a Shiksha Kendra/NFE last year.
Both his mother and brother urged him to attend camp this year after a Seva Mandir Zone coordinator visited their village to inform the community about the upcoming camp. Before coming to camp he considered enrolling in a local Non-Formal School like his sister. Yet when he went, he was discouraged by how young the children were and felt that he was too old to join the class. When he saw the bus loading up to take children from his village to the residential camp at Kaya this month he saw that there were older children and thus felt at ease about attending.
Githmal likes his teachers, the camp and the atmosphere at the residential learning camp. He is enjoying both Hindi and Math subjects. He does not want to return to work in the cotton fields and is hoping to enroll in an NFE and tend to the field at home. He would like to continue his studies even after marriage and would like to marry an educated girl. Yet he is not sure whether that will ever happen. When asked about what he would like to become, Githmal responds with a stark wariness beyond his years “I don’t want to dream big. I will take things as they come.”
Inspirational stories, like Githmal’s, are not in short supply at Seva Mandir. Each day teachers and other stakeholders of the education provided at Shiksha Kendras/NFEs see the benefits of Seva Mandir’s work in the eyes and heart of the children.
Thanks once again!
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